I do have a joy these days of watching the tv programmes that feature auctions or at least valuations of furniture and effects that could be offered for sale at them. There’s something rather sad seeing a family taking their heirlooms to the expert – either we already like the party and have some empathy for them. . Or we’ve found them truly annoying and are quite pleased when the expert questions the provenance of the article, not rediculing it, but gently letting them down with a more likely scenario, whilst hacking several hundred off the anticipated value. If we want to buy antique furniture for ourselves, it is always advisable to do a great eal of research and to buy from reputable dealers and auction houses. The car boot sale and pop up ‘one day only’ sales are always going to be suspect. Stolen items can be disposed of this way – although many of the purloined beauties are stolen to order and shipped abroad immediately, there are outlets for other lucky acquisitions.